By Jo Early
This morning, about 50% of the population discovered we were no longer full citizens of the United States of America. We do not have the ability to make our own medical decisions. We do not have the right bodily autonomy. We are being taxed without representation, as the people who made this decision for us do not represent us.
Our constitutional right to abortion – that has been around for 50 years – has been struck down by the Supreme Court, just a day after they abolished a gun safety law in New York. And in Texas, a state still mourning the murder of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde a month ago, a trigger law will go into effect in 30 days. In one month, abortion will be illegal in Texas unless the pregnancy is determined to be life-threatening. For the first time since the founding of the country, children will have less rights than their parents.
A teenage white supremacist can purchase an AR-15 but I cannot make decisions about what happens in my own body. What about these decisions can be called “pro-life”?
I am so angry beyond words. I’m devastated. And I am incredibly sorry. I’m sorry to the women who will die. I’m sorry to the children who were so vehemently advocated for while they were still in the womb and promptly disregarded by the same people the moment their lives actually began. I’m sorry to the children who will be forced to become mothers.
According to NPR, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to not survive a pregnancy compared to white women. Women of color are already disproportionally affected by healthcare discrimination, and once abortion is illegal, they are the ones most likely to be arrested, even for unintentional miscarriages. Lizelle Herrera was arrested in April of this year, charged with murder for allegedly inducing a miscarriage. Doctors can’t reliably tell the difference between a spontaneous miscarriage and a miscarriage induced by an abortion pill; if Herrera’s case is any indication, any of us can be charged with murder if we are hurt, shot, tripped or bending over while pregnant.
This is a war against women, against people of color, against gender non-conforming individuals and trans people. Anybody with a uterus must incubate and damn you after.
Abortion being illegal has never and will not stop abortions from happening. People will bleed out from desperately sought and unsafe abortions. They will die of sepsis from being forced to carry unviable fetuses inside of their bodies, whether they wanted a child or not. Doctors will not dare risk their own livelihood by saving a woman over a fetus and so both will die. Children will be born into poverty, into abusive households and many of those children will die.
“Pro-life” people will dance on their graves and still declare victory.
If you’re as frustrated and enraged as I am, please make sure you’re involving yourself politically. Vote. Find the candidates who will protect you and vote out the ones who won’t.
And if you declare yourself pro-life, please fight for those living. Fight for the children in the foster care system, fight for unhoused people, fight for healthcare reform and access to mental health services. Add your passion to advocate for life, true life.